Harper, you are right. Getting a cat to look good is one of the toughest. So many come out looking like Garfield the cartoon cat...
The Story, Well we hunt cats as soon as it opens right after elk season. I have a good friend with some awesome dogs. I use to run hounds and even competed years back in field trials. I would love to own a couple of his dogs, they will flat azz smoke a track, even one 15 to 20 hours old. So this was the first cat I killed and it was a male that weighed 145 lbs. The chase was in some pretty rough country, but a beautiful area. I shot it with my Weatherby 17 HMR. The HMR will do a great job but placement is very important. Stick one in the crease on a perfect broadside shot and they will expire pretty darn quickly. The bullet sends fragments into the heart. Pin hole entrance and no exits. I have taken 2 others since, one about 3 days ago and one last year. Yesterday morning I left to look for tracks at 4:00 am. My buddy had been out since 1:00 am. There was a large male track going through my yard. I mean right by the house. In fact he walked right past my garage doors about 2' from them. A local ranchers daughter shot this male after we ran the hair right off him and put him in a tree. Using my shoulder for a rest she put a slug from her 223 right where I told her. Gotta love the Montana gals, never under eximate this cute little blond gal. I have seen her rope and ride with the best of them and she can shoot too. She hiked right to the tree and closed the deal.
My wife was glad to hear we shot the window peeker. He weighed 152 lbs. I will post a few pics tonight. Gotta run we are after the lions again today and I need to get out and look for a track.